What are you going to work with at IFIKK?
I joined IFIKK in August 2022 as a Doctoral Research Fellow in Philosophy as part of the GOODATTENTION project. My supervisor is the project’s Principal Investigator, Sebastian Watzl. The project itself tries to identify and clarify norms of attention. This is a novel attempt with respect to attention. Most normative studies have limited themselves to action, speech and , sometimes more broadly, to thought but have seldom paid attention to attention.In my thesis, I hope to identify the role that freedom plays in a normative analysis of attention. In other words, from among a pool of things, ought we be free to keep some things at the centre and others at the periphery of our mental life? This is a question I will be exploring. But more importantly, I shall work on identifying the norms that regulate what pool of things we ought to consider for our attention in the first place. I hope to argue that such norms are not unlike norms that govern communication as a cooperative enterprise.
Can you tell us a bit about your research interests?
My research interests revolve around understanding the human mind and human language and around how such an understanding can inform our ethical conduct. Prior to beginning at IFIKK, I have written an M.Phil. Dissertation in which I tried to explore the ontological status of the proper names we use in our language. This gave me clarity on and insights into what I think language is, what it can be reduced to and what it can’t be reduced to. In my PhD project, I hope to let this understanding of the boundaries that divide the linguistic and the non-linguistic inform an understanding of attention, human consciousness and their normative and conceptual connections with language. Such understanding can tell us not just how attention actually works, but also how it ought to work and how it ought to influence our decisions and behaviour.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I am into creative writing, exploring new music and binging on discussions around public policy. But I am also into discussions around strange and mysterious phenomena like crop circles and the Bermuda Triangle, understanding occult/mystical (read: pseudoscientific) pursuits like astrology or psychoanalysis and exploring pop culture (especially the ‘cringe’ aspects of it).